THE hit 1963 film Summer Holiday saw a young Cliff Richard and several of his mates take a London bus from the depot where they worked and take off on a jaunt to the south of France.

It was then parodied in the 1980’s by the Young Ones comedy quartet who instead stole a bus and sent it crashing over the white cliffs of Dover instead of reaching France.

All of this sprung to mind when the boss of First Bus in Scotland suggested that bar staff could finish their pub shift and be redeployed to drive colleagues and customers home on night buses after the firm announced the axeing of several night services.

Duncan Cameron, managing director of the firm, said First could train night-time economy workers and give them flexible hours in a show of willingness to make retaining the services possible.

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It followed the company announcing an imminent end to 11 night-service routes in Glasgow following persistently low passenger numbers and revenue losses.

Cue faux outrage from politicians, unions, night-time economy workers and charities and even including criticism from the First Minister Humza Yousaf.

Following the furore, Mr Cameron put forward a defence of his firm’s decision.

He said that drivers of the night bus routes will be redeployed to additional services that will bolster an existing Glasgow route in plans currently out for approval by the Traffic Commissioner.

Mr Cameron also accused politicians and other stakeholders of hypocrisy over their criticisms, saying there had been ample time for them to act during a six-month consultation about the future of the service.

He detailed how a struggle to recruit drivers – despite efforts to diversify the workforce – is the biggest issue in continuing with the night bus services but said First Glasgow would be flexible around seeking solutions to the issue.

Mr Cameron said: “A driver behind the wheel is the biggest challenge.

“What’s to stop somebody working in a bar being volunteered to be trained by First Bus and, as part of their shift, work for First Bus doing two journeys and the night late services?

“It might sound a bit of a wacky idea, but it would it would solve the problem and provide employment.”

Mr Cameron said consultation on the future of the night bus began in late January this year and discussions were held with the local authority, councillors, businesses and city stakeholders.

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The lack of engagement or offers of support to retain the service have, he said, made the level of outcry “unforeseen”.

On the face of it, getting bar staff to drive buses home is a ludicrous suggestion but it is actually well worth considering.

The problem, of course, is that driving a night bus is extremely anti-social so I’m sure there are not many existing drivers falling over each other to volunteer for such a shift.

The likelihood is that newly qualified drivers would be forced to do the job, as a kind of probation until they had accumulated enough experience to navigate the city streets at rush hour, which takes a lot of skill.

It cannot be easy negotiating gridlocked streets in a double-decker bus so those who that do it regularly without so much as a scrape should be applauded.

But the real reason that the night services are being withdrawn is that they are not very well used so who can blame First Bus for pulling the plug? Use it or lose it, as the old saying goes.

There is also, like so many other jobs, a chronic shortage of people willing to be trained up to do it, despite the money being pretty good.

It is a sign of much wider malaise in society where many people, particularly youngsters, seem to view many jobs as beneath them.

It is part of a wider problem amongst many youngsters – but certainly not all – that they have developed an enormous feeling of entitlement and are reluctant to roll , rather than rolling their sleeves up and getting on with it.

Seasonal jobs, such as fruit picking, that were traditionally done by schoolkids and students were then taken on by Eastern Europeans, partly due to the jobs’ lower wages but also due to apathy. Now that Brexit has happened, many Europeans have not returned, leaving tons of fruit left rotten and unpicked, rather than be picked by locals who are no longer interested either.

I suspect this is the case with a job like driving buses and it all adds up to the feeling that many are too self-entitled to either travel on, or drive, a bus.

But of course it is not just a problem with the young as many middle-aged folk aren’t interested either.

That won’t stop any of them moaning about it though.